Archive for January, 2012

Quote of the day: OLD

January 22, 2012


However alert we are, however much we think we know what will happen, antiquity remains an unknown, unanticipated galaxy. It is alien, and old people are a separate form of life. They have green skin, with two heads that sprout antennae. They can be pleasant, they can be annoying – in the supermarket, these old ladies won’t get out of my way – but most important they are permanently other. When we turn eighty, we understand that we are extra-terrestrial. If we forget for a moment that we are old, we are reminded when we try to stand up, or when we encounter someone young, who appears to observe green skin, extra heads, and protuberances.

— Donald Hall


January 22, 2012

My review of Young Jean Lee‘s Untitled Feminist Show at the Baryshnikov Arts Center has just been posted on Check it out here and let me know what you think.

Hilary Clark, Regina Rocke, and Katy Pyle (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

Photo diary: Willett family gathering

January 22, 2012

Andy and I flew out to California to attend the memorial service for his Uncle Bill, who died of a heart attack in December at age 70.

He lived in a house on a hill back in the woods near Pescadero, drove a school bus, had lots of girlfriends but never married, attended healing circles and loved the poetry of Rumi. He sounds like a character I really wish I'd gotten to meet.

This was an occasion for me to meet Andy's extended family, including his father Dave (bottom row, far right). Clockwise from there: Dave's wife Beth (Andy's stepmom), Andy's cousin Erika and her kids Karolina and Peter, Beth's son John, Andy, Erika's mom Laurene, Andy's sister Becky, Erika's dad George, her husband Martin, and his mom Jana.

We all stayed in a big house half a block from the beach in Half Moon Bay. What a luxury to walk on the beach in January!

It was Andy's first glimpse of Karolina, who's nine weeks old.

Uncle Bill was known for his far-out gifts, such as the tie Andy wore to his memorial service in Pescadero.

The next day we scattered Bill's ashes among the redwoods on his property.

In last week’s New Yorker

January 18, 2012

I’m not a huge shopper and can’t imagine reading a magazine like Lucky, but I enjoy reading Patricia Marx’s special brand of shopping dispatches for the New Yorker. Last week she concentrated her laser-beam observational skills on NYC supermarkets. Of my very favorite, Fairway, she had this to say: “The main store, at Broadway and Seventy-Fourth Street, can be an anxiety-filled combat zone. Are you tough enough to venture into the crowd and do battle with the strollers, the walkers, the killer shopping carts, and the line-cutting, salt-phobic, food-sample-noshing regulars, each of whom has more neuroses than you’ll find in the waiting room of the average West End Avenue shrink? No wonder the management hired a woman last year whose job is simply to roam the store, being nice to customers.”  And at Dean & DeLuca in Soho: “As for the chocolates, delicate hand-carved and painted pieces of sculpture: in the words of one friend, never eat anything prettier than you are.”

In his review of Jodi Kantor’s book on the Obamas, David Remnick gives it more credence than I would have imagined, plucking out numerous good quotes” “Obama was elected to lead ‘a rational, postracial, moderate country that is looking for sensible progress,’ a White House official tells Kantor. ‘Except, oops, it’s an enraged, moralistic, harsh, desperate country. It’s a disconnect he can’t bridge.”

Then there’s the hilarious Talk of the Town piece by Andrew Marantz in which some Brooklyn Republicans watching the results of the Iowa caucuses discover by Googling the way Rick Santorum’s name has been repurposed, under the instigation of columnist Dan Savage. It’s weird that Marantz describes the definition of santorum as “unprintable,” given the various verbal barriers that the once-staid New Yorker has leapt over in recent years, but whatever. (Google it yourself and see.) But I love that Marantz contacted Savage himself for a response. Asked by e-mail if he felt he had helped make history, Dan Savage wrote back: “No, I’ve made mischief.”

And it’s an issue with a high ratio of especially good cartoons, too.

Quote of the day: FIRST LOVE

January 18, 2012


First love – what a change it makes in a lad! What a magnificent secret it is that he carries about with him! The tender passion gushes instinctively out of a man’s heart. He loves as a bird sings or a rose blooms, from nature.

— Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon

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